Today, it is a popular destination for visiting tourists, Grail theorists, ley-line enthusiasts, and those who make the climb to enjoy its sweeping view of Somerset countryside. Until two thousand years ago, the sea washed right to the foot of Glastonbury Tor, nearly encircling the cluster of hills. The sea was gradually succeeded by a vast lake. Although a peninsula, the Tor would have looked like an island from most angles of approach: an old Celtic name for Glastonbury is Ynys-witrin , the Island of Glass. Excavations on the Tor have revealed some Neolithic flint tools and Roman artifacts, indicating some use of the Tor since very ancient times.
The terracing on the side of the hill, if man-made, may also date from Neolithic times. The first significant occupation of the Tor dates from the Early Middle Ages c. Remains discovered from this period include: a metalworker's forge; postholes; two 6th-century burials of teenagers oriented north-to-south; fragments of 6th-century Mediterranean amphorae for wine or oil ; many animals bones; and a worn hollow bronze head which may have topped a Saxon staff. A second phase of occupation of the Tor between and AD is known from the discovery of the head of a cross and what were probably monastic cells cut into the rock on the summit.
The existence of a monastic community on the Tor is confirmed by a charter of granting permission for a fair to be held at the Monastery of St. Michael on the hill. Sites on high places are often dedicated to St.
Welcome to Glastonbury Abbey - Glastonbury Abbey
The monastery and church on Glastonbury Tor were closely associated with the great Glastonbury Abbey in town below. Medieval pilgrims made the steep climb up Glastonbury Tor with hard peas in their shoes as penance. The first monastic Church of St. Michael that stood on Glastonbury Tor was probably destroyed in the major earthquake of The church was rebuilt in the 14th century, and only the tower still stands today.
As with Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury Tor is shrouded in intriguing mystery. Legends concerning its history and sacred significance have circulated since the Middle Ages, many of which center around King Arthur. In modern times, it is said to be a major center of energy and ley-lines and the home of a goddess. The Isle of Avalon, often identified with Glastonbury, derives its name from a Celtic legend of the demi-god Avalloc or Avallach, ruler of the underworld. In Celtic lore, Avalon was an isle of enchantment. It was considered the meeting place of the dead and the point where they passed to another level of existence.
The Tor was believed to be the home of Gwyn ap Nudd, the Lord of the Underworld, and a place where the fairy folk lived. One major mysterious aspect of Glastonbury Tor are the seven levels of terraces that encircle the hill.
Burrow Mump: The ‘Hill Hill’ Church Ruins Alternative to Glastonbury Tor
It is not certain that they were man-made or purposeful, but they have been dated by Philip Rahtz to Neolithic times. Many believe they are an ancient ritual labyrinth or maze that correspond to a magical diagram. The earliest writtend legend of Glastonbury Tor is in a midth-century story about St.
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Patrick According to this account, Patrick became a leader of a group of hermits at Glastonbury after he returned from Ireland, and discovered an ancient ruined oratory after climbing through a dense wood. Some believe this oratory to be a chapel built by Joseph of Arimathea when he arrived at Glastonbury after the crucifixion of Christ. In Caradog of Llancarfan's Life of St.
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History of Glastonbury Tor
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